BB assassination probe: ‘Murder plot hatched at brigadier’s home’

Published: December 31, 2010
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GHQ ready to put any accused officer on trial as president 
keeps military leadership in the loop.

GHQ ready to put any accused officer on trial as president keeps military leadership in the loop.

ISLAMABAD: A fresh probe has uncovered the role of nine men, including an army brigadier, in the December 27, 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. The assassination plot was hatched in the official residence of the army brigadier mentioned in the investigation report.

The findings of the probe, conducted under the interior ministry’s supervision, have deliberately been kept under wraps — even from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party’s leading lights. The report is in the possession of Interior Minister Rehman Malik and has only been seen by President Asif Ali Zardari in its entirety.

Earlier this week, President Zardari temporarily shelved plans to share the contents of the inquiry report. The president was keen to first take the army leadership into confidence before ordering the arrest of certain uniformed personnel over their alleged involvement in Benazir’s assassination.

Five of the nine co-conspirators are still alive, according to the inquiry report. They were the ones who hired the killers and gave them shelter and logistical support. The five men will now be formally charged-sheeted and put on trial. The remaining four men, including those sent to kill Benazir, are already dead.

Both logistical support and rehearsals for the murder were arranged by uniformed persons, who were part of the plot. Militant groups, which  were working closely with the nine plotters, provided the manpower.

It has also been confirmed to The Express Tribune that the joint investigation team had traced two new mobile phone sims that were used to communicate on the day Benazir was assassinated.

Sources said that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had drawn up a tough questionnaire for General Pervez Musharraf on the basis of investigations conducted by the joint investigation team. The questions were framed once the role of the nine plotters became clear and the inquiry team managed to lay its hands on the main accused who was part of the plot to eliminate Benazir.

Sources said that Zardari was still undecided on how to handle the more explosive contents of the inquiry report. They claimed that President Zardari had deliberately withheld presentation of the inquiry report before the PPP central executive committee in Naudero.

Although Zardari had agreed in principle to make the report public, he wanted to give it some more thought. The president and his party leaders are keen to fight off the somewhat popular impression that they are disinterested in tracking down Benazir’s killers.

At one stage, President Zardari had made up his mind to unveil the inquiry report on Benazir’s third death anniversary, sources said. But he changed his mind at the eleventh hour and told the interior minister to drop the idea for the time being. The absence of Bilawal Bhutto from the CEC meeting was only used as a pretext to delay the presentation of the report. The president did not want the present army leadership to be caught off guard when the names of certain uniformed persons feature in the report.

For their part, the military leadership signalled their willingness to cooperate with the civilian government and put any accused military officer on trial, sources said. Even when a cabinet inquiry team led by Rauf Chaudhry was constituted, the military leadership had backed the initiative to an extent that the director general of Military Intelligence, Nadeem Ejaz, was made available to a three-member inquiry committee.

Sources said that the committee chairman was even told by the top military authorities that a serving lieutenant general would be available round the clock for as many days as they need for questioning, till they reached any conclusion about his innocence or guilt.

The interior minister refused to comment on the inquiry report on the pretext that the matter was in a court of law. When asked whether he intended to share the findings of the probe with the PPP’s CEC members, the minister said he would definitely place the inquiry report before his party’s elders.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2010.

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Reader Comments (70)

  • Abdul Rauf khan
    Dec 31, 2010 - 7:18AM

    Oh my God that was the plan if this is true then same on us we killed our great leader and made funny our self in the worlds.But why we call then Scot Land yard and the go to UN to solve the prob of the murder spend more time and money?

    I think PPP own have double minded not trust on our own investigation.However,we lost our identity of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto bless memory.May Allah bless on her Amen.Recommend

  • affie
    Dec 31, 2010 - 7:58AM

    So if Baitullah Mehsud has connection in this murder, so he has connections to army too.
    Mean he’s an army man.Recommend

  • Roshan
    Dec 31, 2010 - 8:39AM

    Great revelation Rauf Klasra!
    Now Muahtarma’s investigation is practically entering in the red zone and PPP will have to deal with it boldly and confidently, no matter if they are deprived of their government. Its a do or die for PPP and nation, otherwise establishment will keep on slaughtering our leaders.
    P.S. Hmmm! I was clueless why JUI-F and MQM threatened the government to quit the coalition? They have their own axe to grind. Recommend

  • Topak Khan
    Dec 31, 2010 - 9:00AM

    They are sure of killers, one is a serving army man, military fully supports arrest of uniformed men, report is only seen by two ppl zardari and malik
    all of it sound too clean to be trueRecommend

  • Dec 31, 2010 - 9:04AM

    Its all a conspiracy!Recommend

  • hassan
    Dec 31, 2010 - 9:19AM

    intresting… lets see where it ends.Recommend

  • Abdullah
    Dec 31, 2010 - 9:22AM

    Sad!Recommend

  • Sarah
    Dec 31, 2010 - 10:33AM

    This is a sensitive revelation – (and as reported by Mr Klasra) one which the political leadership was hesitant to uncover for fear of repercussions. I hope Express has done its due diligence in verifying this news item which can potentially be very damaging for the relationship between national institutions. Recommend

  • Musa
    Dec 31, 2010 - 10:38AM

    OoO man.. Thats oddRecommend

  • Raza Virk
    Dec 31, 2010 - 10:47AM

    This Govt. cannot touch a Major what to talk of a Brig.Recommend

  • Asmat Jamal
    Dec 31, 2010 - 11:12AM

    If the story is correct than I must appreciate Asif Zardari for his patience and level head.
    May God help PakistanRecommend

  • abhinav
    Dec 31, 2010 - 11:46AM

    @Asmat Jamal
    Exactly my thought too. He has shown outmost patience here, probably he is not as bad as depicted in media.Recommend

  • Saima Khair
    Dec 31, 2010 - 11:47AM

    These reports being denied and declared fake by Interior Minister Rehman Malik and the President House.
    We must abstain ourselves from spreading fake news as the facts get worst by such reports.Recommend

  • Yaldrum
    Dec 31, 2010 - 12:26PM

    So if Interior Ministry was investigating the assassination all along why were millions of Dollars spent on a fruitless UN investigation? The author of this story have a long history of yellow journalism and tale spinning, any one remember “(mis)Adventures of Brig Imtiaz” and “The Hero of Pakistan’s Nuclear Program”. People google is free, so please use it.
    This so called leaked report could be nothing more then a tactic being employed by Zardari and company to blackmail the Army and intelligence agencies and also a warning shot across the board for those by whom PPP feels threatened. There are many unanswered questions on role of Rehman Malik, Babar Awan and Mr. Zardari himself. Not to mention those who have been murdered since and could have played a role in BB’s murder.
    Unfortunately those who are behind this assassination will never be unearthed and PPP will be using this so called report to keep on Black mailing the ESTABLISHMENT to stay in power.
    Take this story with a TON of salt since its coming from one of the king of tale spinning RK.Recommend

  • Muhamaed Husein
    Dec 31, 2010 - 12:29PM

    so tell me under what law a President of a political party hold back a murder investigation report?Recommend

  • Khan
    Dec 31, 2010 - 12:32PM

    So now finally the truth starts being revealed bit by bit. And barring any further ‘red herrings’ (Baitullah Masud, et al) the trail will lead us to…

    (yes, we all know who – but will our real masters residing in Rawalpindi allow it to happen?)Recommend

  • Sameer Khan
    Dec 31, 2010 - 12:33PM

    This report is more of an emotional drama and the timing attached to it is another political move hatched to gain certain political objectives.It manifests the political numbness there exists in our leadership that even blood sells for a good price. Secondly what ever names would come up would just be toms,dicks and harries of the great game. Lastly we would never be able to understand the dynamics that existed at that time which lead to such a holocaust and the decision makers who gave the green signal for such brutality would just be mere faces unseen and untold.

    God be with us
    Pakistan zindabad

    Regards
    Sameer KRecommend

  • R.Raheem
    Dec 31, 2010 - 12:39PM

    We should be ashamed that we killed one of the best leaders Pakistan has ever produced. Recommend

  • Hassan Bokhari
    Dec 31, 2010 - 12:51PM

    This has been known from the start… its 100% the work of Army+Taliban+USA like everything in our country is being controlled from the start. How can our country progress if no democratic government is given time or authority??Recommend

  • Ali
    Dec 31, 2010 - 12:52PM

    Sorry to burst your bubble but rehman malik just rubbished this whole new.
    sorry mr kalsra next time :)Recommend

  • Dec 31, 2010 - 12:53PM

    justice for all across the board, let the truth surfaceRecommend

  • Atta
    Dec 31, 2010 - 1:14PM

    i cnt hav words for Mr Klasra.Recommend

  • Rana Amjad
    Dec 31, 2010 - 1:28PM

    Every Country has an Army but in Pakistan, Army has their own country called Islamic Republic of Pakistan.Recommend

  • kk
    Dec 31, 2010 - 1:29PM

    fake…… and plz Express Tribune and Rauf Klasra stop this nonsense. Stop blaming Pak Army. India and America is already doing this so u have no need to help them. I think u forgot Mumbai Attacks conspiracy. You are destroying the image of Armed forces and intelligence agencies. The whole world wanted this too and you r supporting them by these fake and unconfirmed reports. That is why sometimes i think that Pakistani Media has a lot of Traitors who are agents of RAW,CIA,MOSAD etc. I know my comments will not be published. Coz i know the level of freedom of speech here. God Bless Pakistan and Pak Army. Recommend

  • Saad Khan
    Dec 31, 2010 - 1:41PM

    Benazir got what she deserves. I hope Zardari and Co follow suit.Recommend

  • Umayr Masud
    Dec 31, 2010 - 1:57PM

    So by definition , does this investigation has anything to do with JUI-F and MQM leaving the coalition, and the Mullah’s on the street to “PROTECT” blasphemy laws. :) Recommend

  • kashif Abbasi
    Dec 31, 2010 - 3:06PM

    if this story is true then all people involved in murder should be hanged at same place……. without
    any delayRecommend

  • vasan
    Dec 31, 2010 - 3:44PM

    kk; You must be another Conspiracy theoristRecommend

  • Farhan
    Dec 31, 2010 - 4:58PM

    If this is true then Army leadership and Government must hang all the conspirators…..Lets support present government and Army leadership to bring those who want to destabilise Pakistan and also malign our Army……

    All eyes set to the Army leadership what they want to do with these men…..Recommend

  • kk
    Dec 31, 2010 - 5:10PM

    Vasan… n u must be an indian to say this as conspiracy. Recommend

  • Farhan
    Dec 31, 2010 - 5:49PM

    Which investigation the PPP will follow .. One Mehsood version and other this article mentioned..??Recommend

  • Syed
    Dec 31, 2010 - 6:00PM

    Can Mr Klasra throw some light on the two sitting ministers who had mysterious movements and gave various versions of what they exactly saw and did before and after the incident ?? And one of the two is heading this investigation ;) … some people really think we are a dumb nation :( Recommend

  • Adi
    Dec 31, 2010 - 6:08PM

    RK…shame on you for damaging the reputation of national institutions like army…Recommend

  • Waqas+Afridi
    Dec 31, 2010 - 6:23PM

    Absolutely agreed with KKRecommend

  • Munawar Ali
    Dec 31, 2010 - 6:24PM

    @ Asmat Jamal & Abhinav!!!

    You are really true in your thoughts, I fully back n support you, and hope that fellow nation beings start thinking positively like yours!!!

    Regards:

    Munawar Ali, Islamabad Recommend

  • imran
    Dec 31, 2010 - 6:59PM

    Reman Malik has denied the report and says will take legal action , now it looks more authentic.. :)Recommend

  • x-man
    Dec 31, 2010 - 7:10PM

    whats the surprise its obvious faujis did that Recommend

  • bemused rana
    Dec 31, 2010 - 7:11PM

    To Syed. Why do u think the two sitting ministers will be involved? They were already close to her and would have got the perks and prevliges they enjoy now then also. Either you are unawarew of this fact this or watch too much geo to form ur opinion. Besides, this also implies that the 2 monistes were in cahoots with Musharraf. If that is so, it says something about mush himself. Incredible how prejudice clouds logical thinking! Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Dec 31, 2010 - 8:08PM

    Klasara is funny chap, I love it how he writes “hatched in a brigs home”
    The BB deal has no worth for Zardari why should we give a damnRecommend

  • Conspiracy Tehreek
    Dec 31, 2010 - 8:14PM

    No surprises here!Recommend

  • Conspiracy Tehreek
    Dec 31, 2010 - 8:17PM

    @ KK…u must be from from JIRecommend

  • Khaliq
    Dec 31, 2010 - 8:34PM

    Another attempt to malign Pak army and to provide a pretext to hostile western militaties turn their barrels on Pakistan. In the present Pakistan, everyting is for sale and the president, interior minister and journalists like Rauf Klasra are no exception.Recommend

  • sgoel
    Dec 31, 2010 - 8:46PM

    Next question would be: how did a brigadier get this idea? There should be a public hearing with potential immunity to him so that he can tell everything in public fearlessly.Recommend

  • Amjad
    Dec 31, 2010 - 8:55PM

    Nothing is New. who killed Z.A.Bhutto, who killed Akber Bhugti. There is state withen state.Recommend

  • Aam_Shehri
    Dec 31, 2010 - 10:26PM

    Must appreciate Zardari for patience, despite ISI attempt to blame him for own wife murder he show great prudence! why media not depict positif side of leader?Recommend

  • Dec 31, 2010 - 11:43PM

    No media trial, please. Let the inquiry team interogate the accused and “high brass” should cooperate to prove that no one is above the law in our country. Three cheers for Zardari who is acting and behaving in a very sensible way. RK’s breaking of this story, at this time, will increase problems for People’s government. Recommend

  • Yusuf
    Dec 31, 2010 - 11:44PM

    Next step is to lodge a petition in the Supreme Court requesting it to make the BB report public and to initiate criminal proceedings against the alleged suspect. I suspect a petitioner has already been recruited for the job.Recommend

  • Mohammed Moinuddin
    Jan 1, 2011 - 12:21AM

    It is good news that Pakistan’s Military Leadership in the end signalled the willingness to co-operate(I think for the first time in the history of Pakistan)with the civilian goverment and put the accused Military officer on trail.This will make Military Leaderships image very good

    I hope that the enquiry/trial will be fair(unbiased) and the people responsible for this crime should be punished.The Military will get full support from the public and we can see an end to these sort of killings of popular leaders who happened to be the Prime Minister’s of Islamic Republic otherwise this sort of killings will happen again and again which will be very sad for the Qaid-e-Azem’s Pakistan and the democratic institutions will be damaged(we have this problem every now and then and we are experiencing this again).Pakistan Zindabad,Recommend

  • muhammad shoaib
    Jan 1, 2011 - 12:57AM

    I do not believe any one can be involved in BB martyrdom except terrorist taliban. Suicide attacks were made not only against BB but against army headquarter,navy headquarter,air force bus,police,mosques,schools,graves of saints,religious processions and a large number of children,women,soldiers and policemen including generals,brigadiers,colonels,police SPs,DIGs and politicians and workers were killed in thousand numbers. BB was targetted in karachi also like many innocent pakistani around the country.So conspiracy theories attached with such deaths become famous in pakistani people so easily who readily believe such theories if some one innocent but high ranking is involved. Terrorists attacked president musharraf,Shaukat aziz,Amir muqam,Aftab sherpao and many and will continue to do so and therefore i do not believe in useless conspiracy theories as is attached with so many incidents. Thanks Recommend

  • Jan 1, 2011 - 2:30AM

    Everyday a new story. This suspense will remain a suspense.Recommend

  • Zahid
    Jan 1, 2011 - 3:15AM

    Why not to do justice, what ever it takes. It seems like the only purpose of PPP is to remain in power and to forget any moral grounds. Simply PPP bring this all in supreme court with all evidence against all people involved, whether they belong to military or any other institution. Let courts make a judgement on this like any civilised nation.Recommend

  • muhammad ashfaq ashfaq
    Jan 1, 2011 - 10:02AM

    The people who know the political dynamics of the country like pakistan ,where the imperial interests are rooted with all their entirety ,can feel the apprehensions of those who considered the alive Benazir a potential threat to their hegemonic designs.I hope klasra’s investigative journalism will reveal more truth and the people will come to know the dirty work of the Empire and its puppets because if some personnel of the establisment is a part of this conspiracy ,he is mere a puppet and puppeteer is someone else.Recommend

  • muhammad ashfaq ashfaq
    Jan 1, 2011 - 10:28AM

    hoe can it be moderatedRecommend

  • muhammad ashfaq ashfaq
    Jan 1, 2011 - 10:30AM

    The people who know the political dynamics of the country like pakistan ,where the imperial interests are rooted with all their entirety ,can feel the apprehensions of those who considered the alive Benazir a potential threat to their hegemonic designs.I hope klasra’s investigative journalism will reveal more truth and the people will come to know the dirty work of the Empire and its puppets .Recommend

  • Haji
    Jan 1, 2011 - 10:33AM

    It was secret then and not now. Washing crime scene with pressure washer; never seen anywhere. It is indeed true that someone was behind it. It was a governmen to a military dictator, therefore from him and all way down to actor are responsible.

    Haji.Recommend

  • Usman
    Jan 1, 2011 - 10:53AM

    It’s just a wastage of time, nothing else. Pakistan’s government is wasting millions of rupees, in fact dollars to investigate Late Benazir’s assassination ??? Does this money belong to the government or the people of Pakistan ?

    I’m sure, if the investigation continues a little more, then people of Pakistan would have to pay more taxes along with no CNG, no electricity, high bills and more depends on the continuity of the investigation.

    My only question to the Pakistan’s nation and especially the “respected” leaders of Pakistan including our “great” President & Prime Minister is “IF THE INVESTIGATION OF BENAZIR IS THAT IMPORTANT, THEN WHY NOT ALSO INVESTIGATE THE BLASTS IN KARACHI, ON THE DAY WHEN BENAZIR ARRIVED IN PAKISTAN AND HUNDREDS OF POOR PEOPLE DIED” ????? Or were those people not important at all who came to support her and met their fate :)

    I guess, PPP would need another 10 years and millions of rupees for those blasts investigation and that means – more taxes, more GST etc etc …

    If that is the case, then I would surely appreciate the assassins, who did a favor to Pakistan but amazingly, was their list only comprised of 1 name ? I wondered how come they forgot to put up the names of rest of the walking devils – from my side – hats off to them :)Recommend

  • Majid Maqsood
    Jan 1, 2011 - 12:36PM

    I am so sorry my comments are not published by moderator! Recommend

  • hassan.asif
    Jan 1, 2011 - 1:32PM

    For specific complaints and enquiries, please email web@tribune.com.pk Best regards (Web Desk)Recommend

  • kk tiger
    Jan 1, 2011 - 2:00PM

    I am not surprised. BB could not be assasinated without approval,abetment, active support, blessings,technical support and expertise of professional assassinsRecommend

  • faraz
    Jan 1, 2011 - 3:26PM

    it is shocking for me to figure out that my comments are being deleted from this page why ? only on the basis of that i questioned the writer,s credibility and conducts?????,if you claim that you represent the aspirations and views of common people of Pakistan then how come my views are not present on your site? is this a respect for freedom of expressions.Recommend

  • J.Oberoi
    Jan 1, 2011 - 7:49PM

    Like her or hate her. BB was certainly a great leader. This region will miss her. Few South-Asian leaders had her charisma, charm and intellect. Recommend

  • Dr Ayoub Shaikh
    Jan 1, 2011 - 8:14PM

    I am confused on reading comments on this reportRecommend

  • Jan 2, 2011 - 5:08PM

    I have one simple question. If this were the case, so to speak, what took it so long for the PPP to figure this out. I see it as a partial truth only. Brigadier could have plotted but the common sense question to think is that what was in it for him to be specific? Off course there must have been a higher authority who was an alleged “BENEFICIARY” of this murder. And that cannot be Taliban! Taliban had nothing to do with it. Why? Because on principle and technically, Musharraf was harming Taliban at “Present” and should have been assassinated first if at all Taliban were to be involved in this drama. Do you think Taliban were a fool to murder someone on an ASSUMPTION that SHE MIGHT become the next P.M of Pakistan and MIGHT take certain steps that MIGHT go against them? Rather than to murder someone who was ACTUALLY HARMING them at the moment?

    This is a Cover Story layered stack upon stack upon stack with may national and international players with their stakes in it. I seriously doubt the legitimacy of any reports that are to come out. The murder case will just be used nationally as a Political move and internationally as a Fake Cover story to save the real PLAYERS!Recommend

  • yousaf
    Jan 2, 2011 - 8:05PM

    Mr. Rehman Malik has denied this to be true. Pakistan Army must come clean on this issue as it seams that PPP is finding a scape goat in Pakistan Army so that there is no to check on its wrong doings in the statecraft.

    Gen. Kiyani must act swiftly in this matter and Rauf Klasra must be questioned for his report.Recommend

  • Aasim
    Jan 3, 2011 - 12:05PM

    a) Funny how this story was only carried by the tribune and nobody else.
    b) Strange why there was no follow-up / comment sought from anyone.Recommend

  • J.Oberoi
    Jan 3, 2011 - 2:14PM

    @Aasim, because it is a very sensitive issue. When charges come up against powerful forces, you will not have too many takers to the story.Recommend

  • khuram kaleem
    Jan 4, 2011 - 12:57AM

    BB was assasisinated only few km away from GHQ in rawalpindi.
    also important to note is location of attack at BB convoy was radially few km away wher zulfikar bhotto was hanged.Is this a coincidenceRecommend

  • syed faisal imam
    Jan 4, 2011 - 6:12AM

    I hope we get to the truth and all those involved reach destiny for carrying out this act.
    If one Pakistani life is lost the establishment is not doing its duty.we are paying exorbitant amounts of money for so-called security.we are righting off the welfare of our future generations for this so-called security or defense or whatever.we are depriving our children from education;normality;progress because we have to sustain this gouging system.
    Pray to Allah that sense and sanity can come to the people of Pakistan and the Pakistan Army so that they can enjoy the blessings of Allah bestowed on this land.May Allah give us the oppurtunity to become one people instead of the idiom divide and rule being the order of the day leading to warring within the borders.
    May the sacrifices of all the leaders and the citizens who have died to free the people come to fruition and may the baqeejaat of colonial thinking be buried forever.Recommend

  • Sabir Shah Hoti
    Jan 4, 2011 - 9:43AM

    This report is also a drama & it just started a blame game playing by the real murdrer of Mukhtarma.Even a child can say to u that who killed BB and who is responsible for it .Rauf klasra you also comletly aware of it that who is the killer & who performed the leading role in this game.who were the major security incharge on that day.Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2011 - 2:55PM

    B B was a great person Me and My faimly like her very muchRecommend

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